1. “Mad George.” For Variety, Scott Foundas profiles Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller.
“[Nick ’Nico’ Lathouris]’s one of those people who digs very deeply into material, and that’s exactly what Fury Road needed,’ says Miller. ’Otherwise, it would have been just a surface action movie. To the extent that you detect any subtext, that’s stuff I really worked out with Nico.’ That subtext included a strong feminist slant, including a topical discussion of women’s reproductive rights (in the film’s inciting incident, Theron’s character breaks a group of pregnant ’breeders’ out from under Immortan Joe’s ever watchful eye). ’So much of extreme world poverty is really, truly because of the lack of empowerment of women, and if that were to change one day, a lot of those problems would be solved,’ observed Theron. ’I think George is really aware of that stuff in the world, and I think he’s truly interested in women.’”
2. “Bombast: Truck Yeah.” For Film Comment, Nick Pinkerton on the history of the trucker film.
“The brief heyday of the trucker movie and so-called “CB craze” was bracketed by two identifiable historical events. The first was the 1973 oil crisis; the second, the Motor Carrier Regulatory Reform and Modernization Act, a huge step towards the deregulation of the trucking industry which was signed into law by President Carter on June 1, 1980. (Very broadly speaking one can track a Rightward shift in the trucker movie, as the protest shifts from a call for more regulation in the Forties and Fifties films of Bezzerides and Endfield to a call for deregulation in the Seventies.) The ’73 oil crisis resulted in the passage of the National Maximum Speed Law, setting the nationwide speed limit at 55 miles-per-hour, and intensifying an already-existent culture of lawbreaking connivance among truckers, who took on the aspect of outlaw heroes using CB argot to keep one step ahead of the bears. An anti-authoritarian streak animates the best of the trucker movies: The Bandit’s rebellion is of the just-for-kicks, ’Whaddya got?’ variety, while in Convoy, Rubber Duck emerges as a populist hero, an unofficial spokesman for the truckers who suddenly finds himself called to articulate a platform, and no sooner has this happened than Seymour Cassel’s slickster New Mexico Governor is sidling up to him.”
3. “Sam Elliott on Typecasting, Making a Musical and Hollywood’s Obsession: ’It’s All About F—ing Youth.’” The legendary character actor stars opposite Blythe Danner in the just-released indie I’ll See You in My Dreams, a septuagenarian love story.
“’I live with one of them,’ Elliott says in reference to his wife, [Katharine] Ross, a terrific actress who is best known for the 1967 film The Graduate. ’I live with one of the girls who was the ’It’ girl in her time. Ain’t f—in’ nobody who’s comin’ to Katharine for work [now]. And shame on ’em, shame on ’em, you know? It’s an interesting thing about our culture, in general—and I always kind of looked at the movie business as kind of the epitome of it all, that whole thing about life imitating art or vice-versa, which comes first?’ He continues, ’It’s all about f—ing youth. It’s never about people that have learned, people that have grown, people that have life experience, something we can glean something from or learn something from or be amused by. It’s all this shit about big tits and hard asses, you know? And everybody’s got ’em, and they all look the f—in’ same because they’re all f—in’ coming out of a mold somewhere, you know? I don’t know what it is, but it’s a thing. It’s not one of the great things about the business.’”
4. “Pizza, With a Side of Gay Shame.” Some thoughts on gay outrage by Out’s editor-in-chief Aaron Hicklin.
“The truth is that it was our choice to care, but if we insist on that path we’re going to spend an awful lot of time getting pointlessly angry. I felt the same way in 2013, when the Internet exploded in a froth of fury because the chairman of Barilla, an Italian pasta maker, made a point of saying he would not include gay families in the company’s advertising (though he was in favor of gay marriage). Gosh, what a slap in the face that was! GLAAD quickly issued a statement encouraging people to switch to ’more inclusive brands like Bertolli,’ while the veteran campaigner Michelangelo Signorile announced that, henceforth, he’d make his own pasta. Good for him—homemade pasta is delicious—but most of us had been eating spaghetti quite happily for years, without ever wondering why Neil Patrick Harris and his adorable kids weren’t smiling back at us from the box. I’m all for LGBT-friendly advertising, but I can’t help feeling that our growing hysteria—the cry of the mob—is the sound of the formerly powerless fetishizing their victimhood.”
5. “Judy Blume Knows All Your Secrets.” After 17 years, the confidante for legions of young readers is about to publish a new novel for adults.
“In so many of Blume’s books, her main characters’ bodies insist on their inherent, primal messiness; they crave, they ooze, break out in rashes as strange and humiliating as desire itself. The body is reckless, but telling. In Wifey, her first adult novel, published in 1978, Sandy, a miserably stifled housewife in search of sexual adventure, comes down with hives and fever. On the first page of Are You There God? the young narrator says that she knew what the weather was like from the second she woke up, ’because I caught my mother sniffing under her arms.’ Growing up in Elizabeth in the 1950s, Blume was that kind of girl: observant, curious, forever noting the mysterious ways of adults. She fantasized about being a detective with a gun, a cowgirl on a horse, a famous movie star with a Latin lover. She spent hours throwing a ball against the wall and concocting private melodramas. ’I loved keeping my stories secret,’ Blume said. ’Because everybody was keeping so many secrets from me. You just knew. Adults. You would walk into a room and they would just stop. And it was like: ’What? What? What?’”
Video of the Day: The trailer for Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials:
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